Break out of that frame!

Break out of that frame!

Stereotypes

Break out of that frame!

Energetic: Puneeth Rajkumar

In the Kannada film industry, many actors have nicknames like Power Star, Challenging Star and Kichcha, according to the popular roles that they have essayed. These names have almost become an image that these actors don’t want to break out of. As a result, they are getting typecast and are playing an array of roles, that differ only in terms of the names of the characters. Their talent also gets sidelined in the process. But these actors argue that their fans like to see them in such roles.

Ganesh H, who works in a media firm, is not ready to accept their justification. According to him, the audience will accept good films regardless of any image factor. “I don’t understand why our stars give that much importance to the image factor. Nowadays, by merely taking a look at the actors in a film, we can predict it’s storyline. If it is Darshan’s film, it will be an action movie for sure. The same is the case with Duniya Vijay. Ganesh plays a playboy and Puneeth, a supernatural hero,” he says.

Umesh Avvannavar, a student, regrets that the industry affixes such images on actors to exploit their market value. “I don’t agree that our stars are not experimental. Darshan is branded as an action hero as the films in which he essayed other roles, did not do well. I appreciated his acting in Namma Preetiya Ramu, in which he played a blind character. But I don’t know when will we get to see him in a substantial character again,” says Ganesh. “Scripts are being written keeping certain actors in mind. This might also be a reason for the similarity of roles,” he adds.

Director B Suresh says typecasting has been a problem of the industry for long. “The industry has got many ‘stars’ but a few ‘actors’. When an actor acquires stardom, he ceases to be an actor and unconsciously, gets cast into an image which overrides his versatility. Character artists are more fortunate in that sense. They can fit into every type of role and are seen in challenging roles often,” he says.

“We cannot blame the actors alone as the problem lies in the system. In our industry, an actor is held responsible for the success or failure of a film. His market value depends on his popularity more than his ability to represent a character. However, a new kind of thinking is emerging in the mainstream cinema of the nation. 3 Idiots and Paa are the products of this perspective. It may change the tradition in future,” he says.

Actor Srinagar Kitty, who avoids being typecast, says he has kept his options open. “Image is an illusion and I try my best to choose different roles. I always look for good scripts and supernatural characters never interest me. I don’t want to restrict myself in the boundary of a glorified image which supersedes my creativity.”

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